Yesterday I tried to be clever using one of the hats I made for Avery's birthday party. Today I'll use my hats, but to get a completely different point across. It came to my attention this weekend that there is an issue that will affect all you Etsy fans that you probably have never even heard of. Heck, I sell on Etsy and I hadn't heard it...nor had some of my other Etsy friends who it affects even more than me. In fact, it will put a bunch of them right out of business. For me it probably just means the end of hat sales, but the ramifications reach so much further into all of our lives than we realize.
Recently legislation was passed called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that was meant to improve safety in products for kids under 12 after the lead problems in kids toys from China. It requires any product that will be played with or worn by a child to be lab tested for safety to the tune of up to $4000 per item, which will no doubt put most small business owners of handmade goods for children out of business. It also restricts the charitable donation or resale of used children's clothes and toys.
Please don't get my wrong...I DO want safer products for my kids to play with and wear. But the American handmade marketplace was forgotten in this legislation. I will not pretend to be an expert on the issue (yet!), but I do know that being able to buy quality products for my kids from other Moms and small business owners like me is important. Even more than that it means that in an already bad economy that some of my friends will have to try to find another way to bring in extra money...and people who are suffering from a bad economy will no longer have second hand clothing as an option for their children. Please take a second and vote on Change.org to put this issue in front of the Obama administration before handmade...and many products and friends you love...disappear.
To learn more click on the Save Handmade Button at the top of this post...Cool Mom Picks has LOTS of great resources to read more about what to do next.